The complexities involved in a depression diagnosis are quite broad. For some individuals, a brief episode with major depressive disorder (MDD) may resolve in weeks, where others may be incapacitated by the same disorder for years. Each MDD diagnosis will feature unique characteristics anyway, but the mystery remains as why some will get better while others struggle for a protracted period.
So, is depression a disability? It absolutely can be considered a disability when the symptoms are so intense that they cause serious impairment in daily functioning. The inability to be productive by continuing to work at one’s job or care for one’s family is indeed the basis of a disability. The person is literally disabled, unable to function normally in regular daily life functions.
When someone is stricken with severe MDD they may wonder, “Is depression a disability” in order to claim assistance from the state and federal disability programs. This is simply a practical question when one is attempting to get some financial relief from creditors while in the clutches of depression. This information is important to obtain as it will alleviate much worry and stress to know that there will be some compensation during the mental health event.
Is Depression a Disability in the Eyes of the Government?
When someone is sidelined with persistent depression it is natural for he or she to ask, “Is depression a disability according to the government?” After all, citizens pour hard earned tax dollars into these government backstops and should be able to benefit from them when needed.
According to the Social Security Resource Center, there are very strict evaluation criteria that will determine approval of benefits. These include:
- The individual’s condition must have prevented the performance of “substantial gainful activity” for at least one year, meaning if you are still working and earning over what the SGA limit, your claim will be denied.
- You must have a severe medically verifiable mental or physical condition that is verifiable through medical sources, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, or physicians. Once they acquire this data then SSI will determine the severity of the depressive disorder using their criteria.
About Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
Major depressive disorder is a serious mental health condition that impacts over 16 million adults each year. Each individual who suffers from depression can have a slightly different cluster of symptoms or severity of symptoms, but generally these symptoms can include:
- Feelings of sadness and despair that are persistent
- Problems sleeping, too little or too much
- Change in eating habits, weight gain or weight loss
- Trouble concentrating or making decisions
- Slowed cognitive functioning
- Feelings of shame or guilt that are not appropriate
- Loss of interest in the activities once enjoyed
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
The type of depression that persists for more than two years is called dysthymia. It is typically a less severe form of MDD but lasts for the extended period without any significant relief.
How is Depression Treated?
Depression treatment has not changed much in decades. The conventional manner of treating depression is through a combination of psychotherapy and drug therapy. These interventions are helpful to about half of the people seeking treatment, but many remain symptomatic regardless of these efforts.
Psychotherapy is helpful in treating individuals with clinical depression as it allows for a private, confidential space where painful past events, such as childhood trauma, physical or sexual abuse, or marital problems can be discussed and processed. These may be factors in the depression, so they should be addressed so that emotional healing can commence.
Antidepressant drug therapy consists of about thirty different types of antidepressants that a doctor can select from for the patient to trial. These drugs take about 4-6 weeks to become effective, but also come with a long list of side effects. Sometimes patients will trial 2 or 3 different drugs before finding one that helps depression symptoms. Others may find that antidepressants simply do not work at all for them.
Can TMS Therapy Help Individuals with Depression?
For those who discovered they are treatment-resistant to antidepressant drug therapy, there is an excellent alternative option to consider. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) offers a promising solution for alleviating many of the depression symptoms, and has no side effects.
TMS therapy is rooted in magnetic technology, similar to that of an MRI. TMS creates powerful magnetic fields that are then directed through a coil over the individual’s scalp targeting the left frontal cortex of the brain. This is the limbic region, also known as the mood center of the brain. Brain imaging has identified that in depression patients there is often evidence of sluggish neural activity in the limbic region. TMS therapy penetrates the brain tissue and stimulates these brain cells, eventually normalizing and resetting the brain chemistry.
TMS therapy is well tolerated by patients and can be provided in a doctor’s office setting while the individual is fully alert. The positive effects of the therapy will be first noticed after about ten TMS sessions. As the treatment period of 4-6 weeks progresses, individuals notice improvements in their ability to concentrate, their sleep quality, their energy level, and their overall mood.
Anew Era TMS is a leading provider of TMS Therapy for Depression in Orange County
Anew Era TMS specializes in the alternative treatment of depression using TMS therapy. This safe and effective treatment option has been renewing the lives of thousands since its FDA clearance in 2008. With no need for anesthesia, no surgery involved, and no recovery period needed, TMS therapy offers an excellent treatment option for individuals who were unable to attain success by antidepressant drug therapy. For individuals who have had some modicum of success with antidepressants, TMS therapy can further enhance the relief of depression symptoms when used as an adjunctive therapy.
The doctors and TMS technicians at Anew Era TMS are dedicated to providing the highest standard of TMS technology for the treatment of depression. If wondering is depression a disability or if you have any other questions about TMS therapy, please do not hesitate to contact Anew Era TMS today at (888) 503-1549.